Posted: October 2nd, 2021
4 DQ 1
Early on in my nursing career while working in long term care, I often witnessed death. I recall the first time I had to check vitals to determine if my patient was or was not absent of vitals. This was a very difficult determination; at the time I recall thinking that I could still feel a pulse, even though my instruments were telling me otherwise. Working as a DON at that time we had the authority to pronounce patients dead, this did not seem like it would be difficult when asked of me, but it was when the situation actually took place. For family members that were involved, watching them and engaging in the care of their loved ones during this last phase of life was hard to experience, the more often being involved in these situations, the easier it became to engage with the family members and console them. According to Grand Canyon University (2020), the best way to help comfort family members and loved ones it to be honest and sympathetic, truthful, and compassionate. For example, suggesting to a patient that there is still hope that their loved one currently on hospice care might make a full recovery and not die, may be suggesting false hope and should be avoided, instead honesty and compassion as well as supportive listening would be most appropriate during these times.
Currently, working as a depression case manager in mental health, due to my experience in the past, it has become easier to accept the death of my patients. This acceptance is due to knowing that death is a part of life, life’s natural process. The challenge at times I notice is when there are patients that do not have close family members or loved ones and they die alone, this is really hard to see, and this does not get easier; there is not much that is more sad to see, than someone dying alone with the absence of loved ones and/or family members.
How often do you engage with or witness death in your work? How has this experience or the lack of it shaped your view of death? Has it gotten easier or harder for you to accept the fact of death? As you explain, include your clinical specialty.
Using 200-300 words APA format with at least two references. Sources must be published within the last 5 years.
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